Your car is an often overlooked staple in your life until something happens like a flat tire. Think about it — it gives you:
- Independence: You don’t have to rely on public transportation or others to get somewhere
- Speed: You get to travel farther and faster than you would by walking or biking
- Memories: Recall all the fun times you’ve had in your car with friends and family
As we reach the holiday season, it’s time to start counting your blessings in the spirit of Thanksgiving. One way to celebrate this month is to express some gratitude to your four-wheeled companion for its loyal service.
Here are 5 ways you can say “thank you” to your car:
1. Keep Your Ride Spiffy
No one likes a dirty car.
Sure, it might look cool after an off-roading adventure, but all that grime can damage not only your vehicle’s body but its critical parts, too — if left unchecked.
If you live in areas near the sea, or wintry places where road salt is used, there’s more reason to keep your car clean, as salt can damage your paintwork and cause rust.
So, wash your car with water (don’t just wipe it) every 2 weeks or so, and give it a wax every 3 months. Don’t forget to clean and declutter the interior, too!
2. Check The Wipers And Grease The Hinges
You don’t realize how vital your wipers are until you get into a spot of heavy rain or snow. Your road visibility is critical, and wipers that don’t function properly could very well cause a mishap. A misaligned pair could also scratch your windshield.
Wipers are pretty cheap and easy to replace, so there’s no reason not to swap out a worn set.
While you’re at it, you can also apply some grease spray to your door hinges and locks. That’ll keep them working well and eliminate creaky noises.
3. Pump The Tires
Tire pressure plays an essential role in ride quality, safety, fuel economy, and your tires’ lifespan. You’ll usually find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle on a decal inside the driver’s door. But if that’s missing, some general guidelines are usually found near the tire pump itself.
The right amount of tire pressure ensures good road grip and even tire wear, and it won’t cost you anything to pump some air.
4. Give Your Battery Some TLC
The last thing you need is a battery that won’t crank your engine. Battery problems are fairly common, especially when your battery’s over 3 years old.
If yours is a lead-acid battery, make sure the electrolyte levels keep the battery plates submerged. Also, keep a lookout for corrosion around the terminals, which affects charge delivery.
Terminal corrosion is something you can carefully deal with yourself if it’s not too extensive. But if your battery hiccups often during startup, or looks out of shape, it might be time for a new battery.
5. Top Up All Fluids
Your car uses different fluids to function, and it’s important to keep these topped at the correct level:
- Wiper fluid cleans your windshield
- Power steering fluid helps lighten the load when your steer
- Brake fluid transmits brake pressure from your foot to the brakes
- Transmission fluid keeps your gears running cool and smoothly
- Coolant keeps your engine temperature in check
The reservoirs for all these fluids are in your engine bay, and your owner’s manual can tell you where. Just make sure that your car engine is cooled if you plan to check the coolant, as hot coolant can cause injury.
These are just a few simple ways to give your car the thanks it deserves this holiday season.